Josh started playing baseball very young. His father (on this committment day to LSU) claimed that he was playing since he was 3. I am not certain about this, but Josh played baseball from ages 9 to 15 in the Scotlandville Sports Academy, "a community organization determined to enhance the lives of at risk youth in the Baton Rouge community through structured athletics and educational activities".
Josh Burris in 2009 during High School
He later attended the Scottlandville Magnet High School in East Baton Rouge Parish, LA, where he was an outfielder and pitcher. At his senior year, he was listed as 5'10" and 165 lbs, and during High School he was batting and throwing right handed. In the summer of 2009 he was joining the curcuit of top prospects at the National Showcase, who were recruited either by pro or college teams. Here is a hitting and pitching video of Burris from the Showcase (about 3 years ago.) Scouted and touted as "one of the liveliest arms in Louisiana", later that year, on November 18, 2009, Josh signed his letter of intent to go to Louisiana State University, on his High School Auditorium among his family and friends.
In his Senior season at High School Josh was the East MVP in the High School All Star two-game Series, when he pitched three scoreless innings in the first game and went a combined 2 for 4 at the plate with a run scored in both games. He was also named in the 2010 LA All League First Team. A note of interest: The only other player from Josh's High School who played professional baseball, is RHP Michael Taylor who was drafted by the Cubs in 1975 and played 2 seasons in their Florida State League (High A) team.
For sore reason, Josh did not enroll at Louisiana State, instead he enrolled at the NJCAA Louisiana State University - Eunice for the 2010 and 2011 season. LSU-E, is one of the biggest baseball powerhouses in the Junior College circuit, being crowned National Champions 3 times the last 6 seasons and always competing. Burris played both in the Fall and Spring Seasons. He wore uniform #6 during the Fall and uniform # 3 during the Spring. A two-way player, OF and relief pitcher, he hit .273/.432/.364 in 55 AB (started 19 games) with 15 hits, 1 triple, 1 home run, scored 21 runs and drove in 7, while walking 17 times and striking out 11. He led the conference in stolen bases with 13 in 16 attempts. His Fielding percentage was .292. As a pitcher, in 13 games he recorded a save pitching 21.3 allowing 14 Hits, 12 Runs (11 Earned), 20 Bases on Balls, while striking out 32, limiting opposing hitters to a .203 BAA, and recording 3 WP, 3 HBP and 1 BK. During his Freshman (and only) season in College, he platooned at the OF (still hitting RH) and was used in long relief/closer role. He struggled early in the year with command. But, has been extremely dominant in his last few outings. His fastball averages 93/94, and his excellent curveball was his main weapon. He was also named in the 2011 Louisiana All State Team
Burris with the LSU Eunice Bengals Uniform:
After the College Season ended, Josh Burris signed with the Acadiana Cane Cutters (Lafayette, LA) of the Texas Collegiate Summer League. There he was also a 2-way player, but primarily a pitcher. He was listed as 5'11", 195 lbs at that point. He pitched in 9 Games (10.3 IP) recording 5 Saves, accumulated a 7.84 ERA, allowing 6 BB and striking out 14. His WHIP was 2.400 and the opponents' batting average was .367 BAA. All of the runs scored in 4 games, and he was near perfect in the last 5 games he pitched. As a batter he started switch-hitting in the summer league. In addition to OF he played some second base also, as he did during College. He hit .261/.358/.296 in 39 games (115 AB) scoring 16 runs and driving in 11 while walked 16 times was hit by a pitch 2 and struck out 27. He stole 23 of 27 bases and his fielding percentage was .946. He wore Uniform number 2 and he was named the 4th best prospect in the Texas Collegiate League by Baseball America.
Burris in the Acadiana Cane Cutters uniform
Drafted and signed late by the Twins, Burris will focus on pitching. Will probably start the season in Elizabethton's bullpen and work to develop an off-spead pitch to go with his lively fastball and excellent curve. I had an opportunity to see him pitch this Spring Training at Fort Myers and it was a delight. Also he looks taller than last season's 5'11". I would say that he is probably 6'1" and close to 190 lbs. Excellent raw stuff, but had issues with command. Once that his harnessed he has a very high upside and could be one of the surprises in the organization. Anecdotally, I was watching an intersquad game between the Twins AAA/AA groups while Anthony Slama was pitching for the AAA squad and the sound of the ball hitting the catchers mitt at the field behind me made me turn and look and I moved away to watch Burris pitch. He was that good.
You can follow Josh Burris on twitter @CurlyCurveball (appropriate handle) and he has a MySpace page, you can find here (with some HS prom pictures)
I will update as soon as news happen.
Josh Burris at Fort Myers this Spring Training (2012) in Twins' Uniform: